Winterize Your Florida Home with These Simple Steps!

Winter is here. While winters are fairly mild in Florida compared to other parts of the country, that does not mean preparations are not needed. The time to begin those preparations is now.

Protect Pipes

This first preparation may seem unnecessary when prepping for winter in Florida; however, there are winter storms in the region that can damage pipes if they’re not properly protected. The pipes in Florida are often not well-insulated, and they’re buried not far from the surface of the ground. These facts make the pipes susceptible to damage when temperatures reach freezing.

Protect the Roof

Take some time to make sure gutters are free of debris, such as leaves, branches and other small particles. Also, make sure tree branches are trimmed far enough away from the roof so as not to cause damage if heavy winds arrive. These precautions are wise throughout the year, but they become even more critical during the winter.

Seal Your Home’s Exterior

All leaks and cracks around doors and windows should be sealed. You should also check for any other locations where cold air can enter and warm air can escape. This precaution will save money on your energy bills during winter months. Sealing entryways can increase savings by 5 to 30 percent.

Check Smoke Alarms

Smoke alarms should be inspected to be sure they are operational. This includes making sure batteries are present and charged. Smoke alarms should be checked every six months. It should be noted that the majority of house fires happen in the winter months.

Change Air Filters 

Air filters should be inspected and changed if needed. Clean air filters are necessary during the winter months to ensure air quality and make sure it flows throughout the home.

Cover the Pool

If you own a pool or hot tub, then it’s important that you take steps to winterize your pool. Part of that process is storing pool accessories and tools in a dry and secure location. You should also cover the pool to keep out potential debris and carefully monitor the water chemistry to prevent freezing. These steps will ensure that your pool will be ready to use when the weather warms up.

Check Attic Insulation

Your attic’s insulation should be no less than 12 inches deep. Ducts should be vacuumed so that air quality in the house can be maintained. These two steps can be a slight inconvenience. However, the savings you will realize on your monthly energy bills make them well worth your time.

Store Any Boats

Additionally, though again, winters in Florida tend to be mild, you might not be using your boat during that time. In that case, you will want to prepare and store it correctly for disuse. This means cleaning the boat, repairing any damages, store anything that is lying about the boat, drain all fluid, but fill the gas tank and antifreeze, among other things. Since boats can be a common thing in parts of Florida to own, see if you might have any friends or acquaintances to see if they can help you with your preparation.

Final Thoughts

Winters in Florida are not nearly as harsh as winters in many other parts of the country. Floridians should not interpret this as a reason not to make preparations for the winter months. Properly preparing your home for winter will protect it from any potential damage from storms. You will also save money on winter energy bills.


Should I Refinance My Home to Afford a Remodel?

If you have owned your home for several years, chances are that you may be considering remodeling your house. Depending on the scope of the work, renovating one or more rooms could be costly. However, many homeowners take out a home equity line of credit or refinance their mortgages in order to cover the cost of remodeling supplies and the labor. In making the decision, it is important to weigh the pros and cons to ensure the best financial outcome for your situation.

Home Equity

Before refinancing your property, find out how much equity it currently has. If you recently purchased it, the home may not have enough equity yet to be worth a mortgage refinance. If it does, however, ask about interest rates and loan terms to determine if this route will work with your repayment capabilities. A new mortgage loan, which may be able to accommodate the costs associated with remodeling the house, will likely come with application fees and settlement costs. Compare interest rates and loan terms to see if this option fits with your monthly budget.

Source: How Do I Know How Much Equity I Have in My Home?

How Long You Plan to Live There

Another consideration for refinancing your property to afford remodeling costs is how long you expect to keep the home. Since a new mortgage loan may extend the original loan period by several years, you might not be able to pay off the remodeling investment if you sell the property within the foreseeable future. This move could then cost you money by reducing profit due to added fees when you sell your home. If moving is a consideration for the near future, don’t refinance the mortgage before selling the home.

Source: When to Refinance Your Mortgage

Renovation Value Added

Assess the value that the remodeling improvements will add to your home. If the increase is negligible in terms of market value and you plan to sell the property within five years or so, you might want to wait on the remodeling. Otherwise, refinancing to a new mortgage means that you will be paying more interest up front along with refinance or loan fees, so by the time you sell the house, you would earn less profit than if you didn’t do the remodeling. Check with a local homeowners’ guide or a realtor to find out whether your proposed remodeling plans will be worth the investment. If you really want to add certain renovations but you’re not sure about refinancing or your future at that home, you can also look to installment loans or personal loans to help cover the costs. There are also home improvement loans, but what type of loan you will be able to get will depend on your personal circumstances.

Source: Just What Is an Installment Loan?

Remodeling a home can add thousands to its value. However, be sure to consider all your options as refinancing can add upfront fees that reduce profit if you sell soon after the remodel.

Jaworski Painting is committed to providing quality painting, from interior and exterior custom painting, to kitchen cabinet refinishing, to more general restoration. If you want to freshen up your house with a new remodel, contact Jaworski Painting for a free estimate!

Things You Should Know Before Building a Custom House

Building a custom home is a balancing act between your perfect vision and the realities of home construction. Your budget, area legal requirements and the laws of physics all play a part in custom home design and construction. If you’re considering building a custom home, there are a few facts you need to know.

Red Tape

Building a home may mean wading through a sea of red tape. Your home’s design and construction will need to conform to national and local building codes. Even after ticking all these boxes, the home will still need the proper permits and inspections. Your contractor should understand the legal processes and help you through them, but you’ll need to get involved with the paperwork to some extent.

Juggling the Finances

Normally, when people decide they want to buy a home, they usually find a mortgage loan after they find a home they enjoy and can afford. When you build your own custom home, it’s going to be slightly different. Securing the financing to build your home often requires two loans. Mortgages and construction loans are two very different animals. Unless you’ve stuffed your mattress with cash, you’ll likely need to get a mortgage to buy the land and a construction loan to build on it. Budget carefully so you can comfortably pay both. Unfortunately, since interest rates are the cost of getting a loan, you’ll likely have to juggle two differing interest rates, this means you’ll have to be sure you can pay for both of them in the long run, and keep an eye on any opportunity that comes up to lower those interest rates as much as you can in the future.

Related: Home Building Costs That May Surprise You | Stonegate Custom Homes

Practical Planning

Yes, a crystal chandelier would look stunning hanging in the foyer, but do you really live a crystal chandelier life? Do you really want a foyer at all? Adding custom features to enhance the way you live makes sense. Install a pet shower in the mudroom if you enjoy muddy outdoor activities with your dog and spring for the double oven if you’re an avid baker. Not every feature that you daydream about will fit your actual life, however. Impractical customizations do nothing except inflate your budget. Choose to figure out whether you need a double vanity in your master bedroom, or if you want a backyard before tackling these big-ticket ideas. Maybe consider where you put your kitchen or other high traffic rooms and if it makes sense.

Related: 10 Mistakes to Avoid When Building a New Home | Fresh Home

Note the Neighborhood

Resale value matters. You may plan to build a custom home and live in it for the rest of your days, but life doesn’t always follow the plan. If you bought a piece of land to build on, look around at other houses in the area. If you make your house too fancy for the neighborhood, the price may climb too high for the area and make selling the home difficult. Skimping on expected local features can also make resale harder.

Related: What You Need to Know Before Building a Home | The Nest

These tips are all important, but the best advice to heed when building a home is to expect problems. In the end, you and your builder will work through or around any problems that creep up. Building a house from the ground up requires hundreds of details coming together. Even if you planned the project meticulously, something may still go wrong. Accepting this before the project begins will keep your stress level down during the build and let you enjoy the process.

Modern Kitchen Design Trends for Environmentally Conscious Homeowners

The kitchen is known as the most important room of the home, and is where most residents spend a significant amount of time throughout the week. More homeowners are looking to have trendy settings but also want to reduce their carbon footprints. Here are a few of the latest kitchen design trends that are environmentally friendly and will create a beautiful interior setting.

Concrete Countertops

Concrete countertops are a growing trend due to their affordability and sustainability.

The material adds an industrial look to kitchens and is incredibly durable to ensure that the countertops uphold their appeal in the coming years. The neutral color of the concrete also allows it to complement different styles of homes.

Reference: Stonecrete Systems Concrete | Concrete Countertops vs Marble Countertops

Cork Floors

When you want to update your flooring material in the kitchen, consider installing cork, which is a renewable resource that is made from the barks of trees. Many homeowners favor the material because it absorbs sound and is also resilient to mildew or mold, which can reduce the risk of damage if flooding occurs in the building. The material also doesn’t contain any toxins that are often present in manufactured floors, which can create a more habitable setting that is safer to spend time in each day.

Reference: Lumber Liquidators | Flooring 101 – Cork Underlayment

Convection Ovens

Convection ovens are increasing in popularity because they can cut down on your cooking time, which means you’ll end up using less energy each time that you prepare meals in the kitchen. Convection ovens are known to cook food 25 times faster than traditional ovens, which can save time and money. The food cooks at low temperatures and doesn’t shrink, which can also increase the quality of the dishes that you prepare. Convection ovens also have sleek exteriors that can make your kitchen appear contemporary and modern.

Recycled-Wood Cabinets

Cabinets are one of the main features of kitchens that use significant amounts of materials when they’re constructed. Opt for recycled-wood cabinets, which can reduce your impact on the earth, and they can also cost less than cabinets made from nonrecycled wood. The imperfections in the reclaimed wood can allow your kitchen to have extra character and appeal, working as the main focal point in the room.

Reference: Elemental Green | An Eco-Spin on Today’s Top 10 Kitchen Trends

You don’t have to compromise on style or design in your kitchen when you want to be conscious of the environment. With the right materials used, you can create a stunning setting that has a high level of appeal and makes you feel at home.

We get that your home is important. It’s part of who you are, your family’s history, a huge part of your life. We are the painting contractor team you can trust to transform it into something beyond even your wildest dreams.  Painting, cabinet refinishing, designing, restoration and more.

5 Projects that Will Add Permanent Value to Your House

While many trendy projects will temporarily make your home more appealing to buyers, very few add permanent value. If you want to boost the value and function of a house for many years to come, then you need to start thinking about some bigger renovations. Here is a look at five upgrades that are sure to increase the resale value of your home.

Install an In-Ground Pool

Depending on where you live and the state of your neighborhood, an in-ground pool could potentially increase the value of your property by thousands, according to Home Light. As a general rule, a pool will boost your property value if you live in a nice neighborhood that has great pool weather. For example, a home with a pool will be more valuable in Arizona than it would be in Oregon or Maine. If you want the pool to last, then you should consider lining it with cement instead of fiberglass. Before installing a pool, however, you might may want to consider how it is going to impact your insurance premiums and property taxes.

Turn the Basement into a Living Space

Finishing a basement is another great way to permanently increase your home’s resale value. Unless you have quite a bit of experience working on homes, you might want to leave at least a few aspects of this project to the professionals. You will most likely need to add extra insulation to the walls, install new flooring, and run electrical wires to new outlets. Installing new safety devices should be a priority as well. That includes radon detectors, smoke detectors, fire alarms, and fire extinguishers.

Install a New Roof

A modern roof could boost the value of your property for 40 years or longer — depending on what materials are used. Traditional asphalt shingles are usually the most affordable option, but they rarely last for more than a decade or two. If you want a long-term investment, then you should install clay or slate tiles. With the proper maintenance, those materials will last for up to 60 years.

Invest in Solar Panels

High-efficiency homes are more popular than ever, and most homeowners will benefit from adding at least a few “green” systems to their property. Solar panels are a relatively large investment, but they could increase the value of your home by tens of thousands of dollars. After installing those panels, you might also receive state and federal tax credits. As an added bonus, the panels will also lower your energy bills while you are still living there.

Updating the Exterior

You can update the exterior walls of your home to fit with a more modern theme. M&M Home Exteriors suggest using verticle siding in order to achieve a more contemporary look. If you prefer to go in a different direction than changing your siding, you can always repaint the outside of your house. Updating your exterior will bring a fresh, attractive look to your home which adds value and curb appeal if you ever need to sell it in the future.

Refinish Your Cabinetry

Nice-looking cabinets are always a selling point for a home. After all, they have the ability to make or break a kitchen’s aesthetic. And when you choose a timeless finish and take good care of them, cabinetry can last decades. Of course, replacing a kitchen full of cabinets can be prohibitively expensive, which is why many turn to refinishing to get a more updated style without breaking the bank.

Before carrying out any major renovations, you must first think about how long you plan on living in your home. Some of these upgrades won’t pay for themselves for at least a few years, and you might lose money if you plan on moving in the near future.

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How to Reinvent Your Home On a Budget

If you are ready to see a major change in your home’s décor and curb appeal, you are not alone. You may think that you would need to have a huge home renovation budget to achieve the desired results, but this may not actually be true. There is often a less expensive way to achieve the same overall look or effect. Here are some examples of projects that you may be able to complete on a dime with a little extra effort.

Update the Landscaping

You could pay a huge fee to a landscaping company to revamp your home’s curb appeal, but this is not necessary. With your own effort, you can save a fortune on labor expenses. In addition, you can complete the work in stages as funds are available. Little things, like planting new flowers, edging your lawn, or adding small decorative items, are just a few of many budget friendly ideas to bring new life to your drab landscape. It may take you several months or longer to accomplish your goal, but you will nonetheless generate the curb appeal that you desire over time.

Upgrade Molding and Trim

If your home’s interior is lackluster, consider upgrading the molding and trim. Some homes were built with very thin and non-decorative trim. They may not have any crown molding, and the windowsills may even be dull. Properly installing trim is a skill that is easily learned, and it can have a profound impact on home décor. There are numerous trim and molding styles available that you can choose from that can impact the home’s décor in wonderful ways.

Paint the Cabinets

Another easy change you can make that makes a big difference is to paint the cabinets in your kitchen or bathroom. This is a cost-saving alternative to replacing the cabinets, and it can breathe fresh life into your space. You can even update the hardware for more impact. Keep in mind that renovating the entire kitchen or all of your bathrooms may be a possibility as well. When painting, remember to store valuables away from the scene as painting can get a bit messy. You should store these items in the correct type of storage and keep it off of any floors, as the items could be subject to heat, cold, pests, or moisture if not placed somewhere safe.

Get a Loan

If the project you are hoping to accomplish costs a little more than you can afford at the moment, you may consider getting a loan. If you’ve built up equity in your home, you may be able to use it through your bank to get a home equity loan. For example, if you are a military veteran, there are several VA home loan options to help complete your project. Make sure to shop around for the lowest rates; this will make sure you stay within your monthly budget and still increase the curb appeal, and property value, of your home.

When you start to feel the itch for a new look, you don’t need to shell out a ton of cash for a full-scale renovation. With a little bit of creativity and strategy, you can achieve professional results with relatively little output. After all, why spend more money than you need to?

5 Hidden Dangers in Your Yard That Need Immediate Attention

There is a common saying that goes, “there’s no place like home.” Most of us grow accustomed to our homes and the comfort it provides both inside and outside. However, there has been a growing trend in premises liability issues where people have been suing homeowners who had no clue that there were hazards in their yards. From experts in the field of accident insurance, “slips, trips, and falls at the grocery store or any accident on someone else’s property due to the owner’s negligence could fall under this category of personal injury cases. This category could also include a loose dog that bites you, an unfenced pool that a child may fall into, or slippery steps.”

Today, we will be going over five hidden dangers in your yard that you need to address immediately.

Attractive Nuisance

Attractive Nuisance is a standard legal term for something that may be a distraction for a young child like yard ornaments. Children generally can’t be held negligent because of their age, even if they were trespassing on your property. Legal specialists describe it as, “an attractive nuisance is something that is so interesting that it would entice a child into entering another’s property. For instance, many courts require that the object be man-made and many require that you “maintain” the nuisance in order to be liable.” The best way to handle this is to either take down these objects or secure your yard with a fence to keep people out.

Keep Walkways in Good Repair

Any walkways that go through your yard to your front door should be clear from obstacles and in good repair. If the walkway is damaged, then repair it. Remodeling experts explain, “walk with a friend side-by-side and measure how much room is needed for a walkway. You may be surprised and wonder why most walkways are only 24 inches to 36 inches.“ If you have low hanging branches, you may want to trim them to prevent people from walking into them.  At night time make sure these paths are well lit to prevent a person from falling.

Secure Your Pool

Most states regulate that you have a properly maintained fence and sign around any type of swimming pool or hot tub on your property. In Florida, signs are mandated by public pools but are also recommended for private pools for awareness even though it’s not mandated. Safety and health worker recommend “place a safety cover on the pool or hot tub when not in use and remove any ladders or steps used for access. Consider installing a pool alarm that goes off if anyone enters the pool.” All of this prevents unwanted guests from swimming in your pool or hot tub, so they don’t injure themselves or possibly drown.

Secure Your Pets

Certain breeds of dogs may cause fear in people because of the widespread belief that these breeds of dogs may have a vicious side to them. In the case that you have a dog, it’s a good idea that they’re secured at your property correctly. Just because you may have your dog staked in the yard, or have an invisible collar for them, that doesn’t mean they can’t get out. You need a physically secured fence in place so that someone isn’t injured. You can buy a fence build your own fairly easily.

Ensure Independent Contractors

It’s a good idea to get a contract signed by both parties when it comes to an independent contractor doing work for you, whether it’s mowing the grass, cleaning the gutters, or patching a leak in your roof. It’s best to tell them of any hazards you know about on your property ahead of time so an injury can be avoided. Make sure they acknowledge they heard you about any hazards. Also, make sure to get references from people you may hire.

Premises liability is a serious issue for homeowners these days, and precautions can be taken so you can be protected. We hope that you consider some of the hidden dangers we talked about seriously to help you sleep better, knowing your property is fully protected.

Here are several more articles to check out while you’re here:

Attention to Detail: Signs Your Home Might Need Some Maintenance

How to Add Value to a Deteriorating Exterior

5 Exterior Upgrades that Add Value to Your Home

Best Decor Tips For Getting The Most Out Of A Room

When decorating any room in your house, it helps to understand how important lighting is. Many interior designers will tell you how important light fixtures are and how much they can make a difference in a home. Failure to use them correctly can be a major faux pass when it comes to decor.

Decorative Chandeliers

One popular trend among homeowners today is using decorative chandeliers. Even though a period of time passed when they weren’t being used in homes, they are enjoying a resurgence. Chandeliers do double duty as decorative art pieces and lighting fixtures. Combining decor with practicality is something that interior designers are embracing more and more each day. They feel that light fixtures should match your decor in order to have a trendy home.

Embracing High Ceilings

This is especially good for smaller rooms. The higher the ceiling, the more space it feels like you have. It also allows you a little more freedom with your decorations. You can use taller pieces of furniture, or you can use paintings and pictures to emphasize the height of the room. Just make sure that you keep the top corners dusted of cobwebs!

Choosing A Room’s Paint

The wall color of a room can change the way it is perceived, as well as the general mood that it gives off. To make a small room look and feel bigger, you can paint the walls warm, dark colors. To make a larger room feel smaller and more intimate, light and cool colors are the best choice for your walls.

To make any room feel longer than it is, painting horizontal stripes on the wall is a smart decor idea. At the same time, painting vertical stripes on a wall makes the room look and feel taller.

Vary Your Flooring

There is no reason why any house should have to have the same floors in every room. One easy way to get the most out of any room is to add the proper flooring to it. Different rooms can and should use different types so that each one has its own decor. However, be sure to limit yourself to no more than three different styles of floors. This will bring together the decor of each room to create a house that reflects your personality, without becoming a hodgepodge of styles.

No matter what you end up choosing for your home, make sure that it is something that you personally like. Just because trends say to do one thing, doesn’t mean you have to do it. You are the one living in your home, so make sure this is something that you want to see every day.

If you are getting ready to repaint your house, check out our services here! We’d love to help with your next project!


Pick Your Perks When Opting for a Custom Home Build

6 Tips for Decorating Rooms with High Ceilings

Coordinating Different Flooring Options Throughout Your Home

8 Unexpected Ways Your Home’s Color Scheme Affects You

What You Should Know About Building Your Dream Home

Getting to build your dream home is an exciting time. Many people dream about designing their home, right down to the details, but not everyone gets this opportunity. You want to make sure that you do it right, because you are going to be living in this home for a very long time. While you may have some bumps along the way, here are a few things you can do to make sure the process goes as smoothly as possible.

Acquiring the Land

When you are looking to build the dream home, the first thing that you will need to know is that you need to first acquire the land. Since you will be constructing a property, it will be necessary to buy the land in which to build on. Similar to buying a house, you will need to find vacant land and then complete the purchase process. You will need to get help from a real estate agent, make an offer and then get it accepted. There will also be a closing as well. Once these steps are completed, you will then have legal ownership of the land you want to build a home on. Clever advises you to do your due diligence, just as you would if you were buying a home. There are a lot of things you should consider in terms of budget as well. Unless the land you’re acquiring is very cheap, you’re going to need to juggle two loans: the land loan and then a construction loan. Unfortunately, a lot of conventional loans aren’t available for these. But you can still research your options well. For example, if you’re a veteran wanting to build a house, you probably won’t be able to go for a convention VA Loan, but you could see about construction loans catered to veterans. Research is key here.

Design Your Home

Once you get the land to build a home on, the next step will be to design the home. This process consists of putting together the shape and structure of the home’s exterior. It will also include the layout and floor plan of the inside of the home as well. During the design process, you will also put in where you want fixtures to be and how many cars will the garage be able to store. When designing a home, you will want to plan your real estate to be as large as you want it. As Gateway Access Realty points out, you can build a small home with all the fancy things, or you can build a larger home with options to upgrade in the future for the same amount of money. Or you could go the modular or manufactured home route, which offers a lot of customizability for a more affordable price since you’re not building the home from scratch. What you do will depend on your family and what your plans for the future are.

Don’t Forget the Paperwork

After acquiring the land and designing the home, you will then need to get the proper permits for both building and zoning. These permits will give you complete authorization to build on the land that you purchased. Once the permits are valid, it will then be time to actually build the home. The construction process will include gathering the materials and then putting them together to make a new home. Make sure you hire the right contractors for this part. Your dream home is important, and you don’t want to skimp on the any of it.

How VR Technology is Changing the Home Design Process

Ever since the birth of virtual reality, augmented reality devices are becoming more and more common, with new applications being discovered every day. Other than recreational use in video games and television, there are also shopping and design applications for augmented and virtual reality devices and programs. One of the most exciting applications for this technology is using it for interior design.

With the ease of a simple app, you can rework an entire room of your home without actually buying and placing items in real life. Now, you can play around with new ideas and visualize furniture pieces in your home without actually committing to anything—now that’s exciting. Here’s a look at using tech to redecorate your house.

Augmented and Virtual Reality in Interior Design

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By utilizing a combination of augmented and virtual reality, you can quickly make alterations to a room—switch up the furniture arrangement, paint colors, and other essential design elements, such as lighting features.

This virtual environment makes it easy to visualize the look of your space, and you can make quick comparisons between different possible designs. Virtual reality programs can be used to allow homeowners to compare different paint colors for the interior walls of their home—helping them to identify the color they like best in their space. Then, before making final purchases, you can play around with the furniture until you find something that suits the room and your sense of style.

Commercial Design Applications of Augmented and Virtual Reality

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Augmented reality tools can also be used to show prospective homebuyers how the property could look after they move in. Here, the virtual environment makes it easier for buyers to see themselves living in the space, so they can make informed purchasing decisions moving forward.

These tools can also be used to allow designers to compare different ideas and decide which are better suited to the space in question. These and other applications of virtual reality can be used to significant effect by interior decorators and others in the industry to help bridge the gap between imagination and reality—creating a design that suits the space perfectly.

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The Bottom Line

As technology continues to improve, more applications of these tools will inevitably be discovered and invented. Whether it’s in the form of interior design apps or sophisticated software for commercial contractors, virtual and augmented reality tools can be used to great effect when it comes time to redecorate and remodel or home.

Instead of having to repaint a room, rearrange furniture, and find new decorative pieces to accent the room, virtual reality tools can save time, money, and frustration by making it possible to do all these things quickly and easily.

While VR technology can help you visualize changes to your home, you’ll still need someone to step in and make these changes in the real world. Ready to take the next steps in the design process? Reach out to us at Jaworski Painting.

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